Partners Worldwide News
Celebrating momentum of the Haitian economy
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti --- This January, over 350 entrepreneurs and international organizations met for the 2nd “Buy Haitian, Restore Haiti” conference, connecting people with the shared vision of creating 100,000 jobs in Haiti by 2020.
Whether in Haitian Creole, French, or English, the message was clear—Haiti means business! In order to achieve the vision of creating 100,000 jobs, Haitian businesses are challenging non-profit organizations, charities, and churches to import fewer items. Instead, they offer opportunities for people to purchase locally-produced goods and services, strengthen local industries, create jobs, and walk alongside Haiti as it gains momentum in growing its own economy.
At the conference, Evelien de Gier, owner of the cabinetry and housing production company Maxima S.A., presented alongside Willys Geffrard of the CRWRC, a non-profit organization committed to purchasing housing units made by the Haitian company in its post-earthquake disaster response. After connecting through the network of Partners Worldwide, both the business and the organization have seen positive results in the partnership—including hundreds of jobs created by the business, and hundreds of people with a place to call home.
Jobs made in the Haitian business sector are a key tool to overcome unemployment and poverty. And the movement of purchasing locally is catching on! According to the United Nations Economic Commission, the Haitian economy is projected to grow 8 percent this year, with a total GDP growth rate larger than any other country in the Caribbean or Latin America.
Partners Worldwide has worked with Haitian businesspeople since 1999, connecting Haitian entrepreneurs and business owners in the SME sector with business training, access to capital, networking opportunities, and business mentors.